The Austin Aztex have played out an all too familiar pattern against Oklahoma City FC Saturday night at Taft Stadium in Oklahoma. After an initial push forward for the host, the Aztex took control of the match. They won the battle for possession in the first half as well as creating the most chances. Most of the play was in Oklahoma’s defensive half. But scoring, the most important stat, did not happen. The Aztex had some terrific chances. Romain Gall had a nice effort saved by Oklahoma City’s keeper Evan Newton. Tony Rocha had Newton beat from 35 yards out with a firecracker that hit the post. Kris Tyrpak and Trevin Caesar unleashed a couple of wicked volley’s the forced excellent saves from Newton. The Aztex could not convert their chances while they were on top.
Then it happened. Against the run of play, the Energy FC struck in the 39th minute. Oklahoma’s Sebastian Dalgaard looked to be well defended on the Aztex flank. He used teammate Christian Duke for wall pass that left three Aztex defenders behind him as he charged into the box. Austin’s keeper Codi Laurendi came out to no avail. Dalgaard fired his shot across Laurendi to the opposite side netting. The Aztex, as has happened on numerous times this season, had been bossing a game to find themselves down a goal. The Energy FC carried their one goal lead to half time.
The second half was a more even affair. Each team threatened as the action ebbed and flowed. Austin continued to push forward in search of an equalizer, but they could not breech the Energy’s goal. An Oklahoma counter attack in the 88th minute ended the contest. Austin had kept the league’s leading goal scorer, Danni Konig, quiet for almost the entire match. But like a true striker in form, he found his space and took his chance. A long ball out of the back was received by Chuy Sanchez who took an Aztex defender wide. He cut the ball back to Konig at top of the box and Konig buried it. It was Konig’s 20th goal of the season. He has now tied for the most goals scored in a single season with games still in hand. The win moves the Energy FC back to the top of the Western Conference.
“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves because it isn’t unlucky, it is a lack of composure in front of goals,” Dalglish said after the match. “Once we get that right, we are going to be an outstanding team.” The Aztex outshot the Energy FC 19-16. However, Oklahoma was far better with 11 out of those 16 on frame. Austin only managed five shots on target.
The Aztex return to Austin next week for their last home game of the season against the Seattle Sounders 2 at Kelly Reeves Complex.